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Wife convicted of Honolulu union embezzlement is sentenced to 70 months

Casey Harlow
Kenji Price, U.S. attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi, speaks to reporters Aug. 23, 2019, on charges against former union executive Brian Ahakuelo and members of his family.

A federal prison term was handed down to the wife of a Hawaiʻi labor union’s former business manager who was convicted of fixing a union vote to raise dues.

Marilyn Ahakuelo was sentenced to 70 months in prison on Tuesday.

After a four-week trial in November, a federal jury found her and her husband Brian Ahakuelo guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud, and embezzlement.

The crimes were committed while they were employed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260.

In 2019, prosecutors charged Brian Ahakuelo, ex-business manager of the IBEW Local 1260, with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and embezzlement.

His wife, Marilyn Ahakuelo, and sister-in-law Jennifer Estencion were also charged at the time on similar counts. A jury found Estencion not guilty in November 2022.

According to authorities, between 2011 and 2016, the Ahakuelos conspired to divert funds and property from the electrical workers union for their own personal use.

Prosecutors said the two used union members' money to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

Honolulu Civil Beat reported Tuesday that the evidence presented at the trial showed that Marilyn’s login and password were used to change union meeting minutes related to a dues increase.

Brian Ahakuelo was also convicted of money laundering, and his sentencing is set for June. He remains in custody.

Marilyn Ahakuelo has been out on bail and will report to prison on May 17.

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